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The Manila Hit List

So, my dear friend is visiting her family in Manila! Flying out tonight! Words can’t express how happy I am for her, and for her family! Which is what compels me to finally post my hit list for the things that I’m going to eat the next time I find myself in Manila. When that’s going to be? I don’t know yet, but hopefully the end of this year.

This isn’t in order of preference, but I absolutely love item #1 because it’s the taste of home.

Barby’s Manila Hit List

  1. Home Cooked – Crabs in Coconut Milk and Sweet Potato Tops (It’s sooooooooo. good. My duty is usually killing and cleaning the crabs, and the last time I learned how to properly squeeze the milk fresh out of the coconut shavings), Tortang Talong, Sauteed Talbos ng Camote with Bagoong Garlic and Tomatoes, Deep Fried Bangus Belly, Chicken Longganisa on Garlic Rice
  2. Jollibee – Jolly hotdog, the Half Chicken Half Spaghetti Combo, and Peach Mango Pie
  3. All the fresh buko juice that I can drink, with “malauhog” young coconut meat to scoop out with my own spoon, and all the mangoes (the normal and the indian mango ones!) and mangosteen that I can eat!
  4. Razon’s – Sizzling Sisig, Sizzling Bangus Belly, Rice, and Halo Halo
  5. Freshly baked Pan De Sal
  6. Arny & Dading’s Peachy Peachy (yeah, they spell it that way. DEAL WITH IT) with cheese
  7. Pinoy Pork BBQ – I still don’t know which one is the best, I just want a stick of tender barbecue! Perhaps Reyes BBQ.
  8. Lugang – Xiao Long Bao (pork, and also the one with crab roe), Soft Tofu and Mushroom in Abalone Sauce  , Taro Xiao Long Bao, Chocolate Xiao Long Bao, Peanut Smoothie
  9. Hizon’s – Lengua in Gravy with Mashed Potatoes, Pork Chops with Apple Sauce, Raisin Bread with Butter
  10. Mien San – Pork Chop Noodles, Tofu with Century Egg & Ku-chai appetizer
  11. Little Quiapo – The Palabok (to end all other palaboks!), The Bulalo, and The Halo Halo
  12. Causeway – Beancurd roll dimsum. Even just that, and my trip to Causeway is well worth it.
  13. Choi Garden – Tahooooooooooo, that secret fried tofu dish with nori and shrimp (it’s not on the menu)
  14. Pino – Salmon Head Sinigang in Guava at Miso (soooooo rich and delicious!), Kare-Kareng Bagnet,
  15. DEC – Seafood lumpia
  16. Lapids Chicharon – CHICHARON!
  17. Estrel’s – Caramel cake!
  18. Muy Hong – Lumpia, Oyster Cake, Pato Misua, and Siomai
  19. Ha Yuan – Maki Mi and Fishball Soup
  20. Gloria Maris or Ongpin Shabu Shabu (Hotpot)- with the taro in the soup until it’s super soft and melty and makes the soup richer… YUM. Also, steamed shrimp platter, and mango sago for dessert
  21. Korea Garden – Korean Beef Stew (the BEST), Japchae, and Scallion Pancakes!
  22. Ye Dang Korean BBQ – Samgyupsal, Daepae Samgyusal, Chadolbaegi, Chicken BBQ, with the sauces and Sesame leaves/Lettuce, Dolsot Bibimbap (where it’s tutong on the bottom)
  23. Tagaytay and other places: Arce Dairy Ube Ice Cream, Good Shepherd Ube Jam, Halaya Ube, and the creeeaaaaamiest, densest Leche Flan
  24. LZM’s (probably on the way to #10) – Fried Bangus. That is all I need. Also, Bicol Express and Bulalo or Laing would be super good.
  25. Namnam – Adobong Bulaklak ng Kalabasa, Tortang Talong with Longganisa, Baby Squid in Olive Oil and Garlic, Gising Gising, Ensaladang Pako, Sizzling Bulalo Steak, Rich Man’s Pochero of Corned Beef Belly, House-Cured Bacon and Chorizo
  26. Abe – Lamb Adobo, Garlic Rice (is it still unlimited?), Sinigang na Salmon in Guava, Suman at Latik
  27. Mesa – Laing Two Ways, Boneless Crispy Pata, and the Shrimp/century egg thing on silky tofu
  28. Merry Moo – Earl Grey Tea Ice Cream (still the best I’ve tasted)
  29. The puto and kutsinta that you buy off the road
  30. Salpicao on garlic rice, either from Kuppa or Cava or Mesa
  31. DUO – The Duo Salad (using escargot, not shrimp) and their free bread
  32. The Dampa – Fresh Seafood
  33. Black Milk Tea (from one of the bajillion milk tea places like Moonleaf and Serenitea)
  34. Purple Oven – For Revel Bars, Ensaymada, and what I hear to be the best Pain Au Chocolate
  35. Va Bene – Any of the pasta dishes
  36. The Blind Pig – to see how the Speakeasy scene in Manila is doing
  37. Last but not the least: Balut. The one that’s only a few days old.

I’m sure a lot of new places have popped up, and my family and friends will tell me all about them. The list is freaking long, probably not enough for one trip unless I’m willing to gain 200lbs. Listing them all makes me miss the flavors of home. If you have suggestions for places to go and things to eat (I hear the coffee and beer culture is growing), I’d love to know.



  1. Mimaw says

    :))))) ha ha ha ha HA!!!! After a year there, i see how hungry you are for home !

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